‘We should welcome the readiness of young people to lead’ – Min. Greenidge
DPI, Guyana, Friday, August 17, 2018
Minister of Foreign Affairs, Carl Greenidge said engaging young people in politics is critical to the development of any country. He said the readiness of youths to lead should be welcomed.
Minister Greenidge was delivering remarks at the dinner and award ceremony hosted last evening for participants in this year’s fourth annual Youth Parliament held at the Princess hotel.
“The inclusion of young people in the process of decision making can change attitudes, help to erode stereotypes and also be valuable in enhancing the quality of the discussions,” he told the participants.
Having the youth involved in the process, he said, is also important to safeguarding and strengthening democracy. According to Minister Greenidge, there are roughly 1.2 billion persons between the ages of 15 and 24 on the planet. That, he said, is a significant proportion of the world’s population.
“It means then that balance, justice or sensible politics require that these persons be given an opportunity to participate in the process of decision making because many of those decisions will affect their lives,” the Foreign Affairs Minister said.
Concerning the participation of young people in the global parliamentary space, the minister noted that the numbers need to improve. Only 57 percent of the world’s voting age population make up 26 percent of the world’s MP’s. He said much attention must be paid to that.
After listening to the issues debated by the youths, he said it is clear that climate change and pension arrangements are of interest to young people.
According to Minister Greenidge, the readiness of young people to lead should be welcomed.
“What we should do is encourage them to see politics, the arena of decision-making as one opened to them and an opportunity for them to contribute to improving the quality of their own life and society around them,” Minister Greenidge said.
Speaker of the National Assembly, Dr Barton Scotland said participants made the government feel very richly rewarded, regarding the manner in which the two days of debates were undertaken.
“There were no complaints brought to my attention about unwilling students or participants. The standard of debates was very high, and the conduct during the conduct deserve kudos…They demonstrated an ability to stick to their particular arguments to disagree and to be mindful of the directions of the speaker,” the Speaker noted.
The 4th annual Youth Parliament was held August 10-18. It saw the participation of seventy-two students from secondary schools across the ten administrative regions and the University of Guyana (UG). Over the course of the sittings, the youth parliamentarians brought motions on issues of climate change, the enhancement to the education system, and the media.
By: Alexis Rodney
Images: Keno George